vamp speakers banner

Bart Barendregt

Director of Studies/Associate Professor
Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden

Bart Barendregt is Associate Professor at the Leiden Institute of Cultural Anthropology, lecturing in digital and media anthropology as well as Southeast Asian Studies. As a senior researcher, Bart is affiliated to the Royal Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV-KNAW), where he is coordinating a four-year project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). This project, Articulating Modernity, focuses on societal change through the prism of popular music, emphasizing the appeal of modernity rather than that of the nation-state. The project offers a new way of studying Southeast Asia that foregrounds the movement of people, music, ideas, and technologies among the region’s cosmopolitan centers. Within the framework of this project, Bart is currently working on his book about nasheed: Islamic boy band music and the mixing of religion, youth culture and politics that has become so popular among Malaysian and Indonesian student-activists.


Charles Exley
Assistant Professor, East Asian Languages and Literatures
University of Pittsburgh

Born in Bellefonte, PA, raised in Atlanta, GA, Charles Exley received his Ph.D. in Japanese Literature from Yale University in 2005.  He teaches courses spanning all eras of Japanese Literature and Film at Pitt in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, including such topics as Japanese Tales of the Supernatural, Japanese Detective Fiction, Samurai and Westerns, Japanese Literature and the West, and Japanese Society and Culture through Cinema.  His primary research interests include modern and contemporary Japanese literature, focusing in particular on the prolific writer Satō Haruo (1892-1964).  Additionally, Exley is interested in visual culture, including film and contemporary performing arts.  Recent publications of note include Modern States of Mind: Satō Haruo and Modern Japanese Literature, which is under review at University of Hawai’i Press.   He has also written “Dress-up: Self-fashioning and Performance in the Work of Yasumasa Morimura” in Yasumasa Morimura: Theater of the Self. Pittsburgh: The Andy Warhol Museum, 2013. Pp. 7-19.


Farzaneh Hemmasi
Assistant Professor (Ethnomusicology)
University of Toronto

Farzaneh Hemmasi is an assistant professor of ethnomusicology in University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. Her research concerns Iranian popular music, migration, media, and politics. She graduated from Columbia University in 2010 and has held fellowships with the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Humanities Forum, Columbia University’s Middle East Institute as well as its Institute of Social and Economic Policy and Research. Her publications have appeared in Ethnomusicology (January 2013), the edited volume Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater (U Texas 2011), and Mahoor Musical Quarterly (2008), and she has presented at a number of North American and international conferences. Hemmasi has taught ethnomusicology at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, and Hunter College in the City University of New York. She is currently writing a book that examines the intersection of popular music, affect, technological mediation, and politics in Iran and its diasporas from the 1960s to the present. In the fall of 2011, she began a new project documenting sound and musical practices associated with New York City’s Occupy Wall Street movement.


Usha Iyer
PhD student, English/Film Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Usha Iyer is a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation focuses on iconic dancer-actresses from the 1930s to the 1990s to examine the role of dance in the construction of female stardom. Her forthcoming publications include an essay on the Hindi film dancer-actress, Madhuri Dixit, in the journal, Camera Obscura, and an essay on intertextual song-and-dance sequences in recent Bollywood films in the edited volume, “Movies, Moves and Music: The Sonic World of Dance Films.”


Hee-sun Kim
Assistant Professor of Music (Ethnomusicology)
Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea

Hee-sun Kim earned a BA and an MA from Seoul National University’s Department of Korean Music, and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. Formerly a research fellow at the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore (Cultural Studies) and a research fellow at the Asian Music Institute of Seoul National University, she is currently a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul, Korea. As a gayageum practitioner, she has given lectures, seminars, concerts, and workshops on Korean music in major cities and universities of Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania. She is one of the most active scholars of the younger generation, working internationally on Korean and Asian music, and heavily involved in the globalization of Korean culture project. Dr. Kim has recently published her book, Contemporary Kayagŭm Music in Korea: Tradition, Modernity and Identity, contributed chapters to many widely-circulated publications, including Music of Korea, Sanjo, Pansori, and Gagok.

Jean Ma
Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History
Stanford University

Jean Ma is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University, where she teaches in the Film and Media Studies Program. She is the author of Melancholy Drift: Marking Time in Chinese Cinema (Hong Kong University Press, 2010), and coeditor of Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography (Duke University Press, 2008) and “Sound and Music,” a special issue of the Journal of Chinese Cinemas. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Grey Room, Post Script, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Camera Obscura, Criticism, A Companion to Michael Haneke (Blackwell, 2010), and Global Art Cinemas: New Histories and Theories (Oxford University Press, 2010).


Neepa Majumdar
Associate Professor, Department of English and Film Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Neepa Majumdar is Associate Professor of English and Film Studies. Her research interests include star studies, film sound, South Asian early cinema, documentary film, and questions of film history and historiography. Her book Wanted Cultured Ladies Only: Female Stardom and Cinema in India, 1930s to 1950s (University of Illinois Press, 2009) won an Honorable Mention in the 2010 Best First Book Award of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. Her essays have appeared in The Canadian Journal of Film Studies, South Asian Popular Culture, and Post Script, as well as collections such as The Continuum Companion to Sound in Film and Visual Media (ed. Graeme Harper, 2009), Film Analysis: A Norton Reader (ed. R. L. Rutsky and Jeffrey Gieger, 2005), and Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music, (ed. Arthur Knight and Pamela Wojcik, 2001).


Jennifer Milioto Matsue
Associate Professor of Music, Union College

Jennifer Milioto Matsue (B.A. Wellesley College and M.A. and Ph.D. University of Chicago), is an ethnomusicologist specializing in modern Japanese music and culture. She has conducted research on a variety of music cultures in contemporary Japan including the Tokyo hardcore rock scene, nagauta (a type of traditional chamber music featuring the three-string lute, shamisen), electronica and trance raves, and most recently, the increasingly popular world of wadaiko (Japanese ensemble drumming). She is interested in how performers find meaning through participating in such music worlds, with a particular focus on women’s roles in music-making. She is the author of the monograph Making Music in Japan’s Underground: The Tokyo Hardcore Scene (Routledge 2008), as well as several articles on related topics. She is working on a new book on Music in Contemporary Japan, which explores wadaiko in Kyoto within the context of broader musical practices, as well as an article that problematizes the classification of wadaiko as a genre. She is Director of Interdisciplinary Studies, Asian Studies and the World Musics and Cultures Programs, and serves as Associate Professor in Music, Asian Studies, and Anthropology at Union College in Schenectady, New York.


Madhuja Mukherjee
Associate Professor
, Department of Film Studies
Jadavpur University
, Calcutta, India

Madhuja Mukherjee, Associate Professor, teaches in the Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India since 2007. She also teaches in the M.Phil. course of the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University. She is the Joint Coordinator of the Media Lab project of the department (initiated in 2008) and has supervised the ‘Sound Cultures’ database. She is a core member of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies consortium. Mukherjee’s Ph. D (2008) is on the Indian film industry (1931-1947) with a particular focus on the interim period between the two World Wars. She has received several national and international fellowships to conduct her research and has published widely on Indian studio histories, stardom, ‘Bollywood’, the city and its cinemas. Mukherjee is the author of the book New Theatres Ltd., The Emblem of Art, The Picture of Success published by National Film Archive of India, Pune (2009). She has edited the volume Aural Films, Oral Cultures, Essays on Cinema from the Early Sound Era published by Jadavpur University Press, Calcutta (2012). Her forthcoming anthology (within Women’s Studies’ Reader series) is Voices and Verses of the Talking Stars published by Stree, Kolkata (March 2014). Mukherjee is also a practicing filmmaker and an artist. She has presented her media-installations at various international platforms and at recognized art galleries.


Joshua Pilzer
Assistant Professor (Ethnomusicology)
University of Toronto

Joshua D. Pilzer (Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology, University of Toronto) is a scholar of Korean and Japanese music. He is interested in the place of music in the texture of post-colonial Korean life, in music’s everyday social utility and poetics, in music as alternative history, and in women’s music. He is the author of Hearts of Pine: Songs in the Lives of Three Korean Survivors of the Japanese ‘Comfort Women’ (Oxford, 2012) and is currently conducting fieldwork for his next book project, an ethnography of music and song among Korean victims of the atomic bombing of Japan and their children.


Tan Sooi Beng
Professor of Ethnomusicology at the School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

Tan Sooi Beng is Professor of Ethnomusicology at the School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). She is the author of Bangsawan: A Social and Stylistic History of Popular Malay Opera (Oxford University Press, 1993), and co-author of The Music of Malaysia: The Classical, Folk and Syncretic Traditions (Ashgate Press, 2004). Recent books and DVD's edited by her include Representations in the Creative Arts of Southeast Asia: Negotiating Meanings and Identities (USM Press, 2012) and The Muliticultural Performing Arts, Crafts, Festivals and Food of Penang (USM, 2011). She is attempting to show intercultural links in the Southeast Asian region through her present research on the Peranakan cultures and Malay music recorded by the 78 RPM recording industry prior to independence. Tan is actively involved in engaged theatre for young people and participatory research in Penang.


Rosie Thomas
Director, Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media
University of Westminster

Rosie Thomas is Professor of Film and Director of CREAM (Centre for Research and Education in Art and Media) at the University of Westminster.  She began research on the Bombay film industry as a social anthropologist in the early 1980s and, since 1985, has published widely on Indian cinema.  Her current research interests focus on pre-independence popular Indian cinema and her book Bombay Before Bollywood: Film City Fantasies has just been published by Orient Blackswan. Throughout the 1990s she worked as a television producer making documentaries, arts and current affairs programmes for Channel Four UK. She is a co-founder and co-editor of BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies.

Ricardo D. Trimillos
Professor Emeritus (Asian Studies and Ethnomusicology)
University of Hawaii

Ricardo D. Trimillos is Professor Emeritus in Asian Studies at the School of Pacific & Asian Studies and in Ethnomusicology at the Music Department, both at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His research and teaching focus on the expressive arts (music, dance, theatre) in their cultural context. He has been consultant to a number of governments (including Poland, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong) in the area of arts and public policy. He completed the PhD at UCLA (1972) on the music of the Tausug of the southern Philippines. His publications include the music of Muslim groups in the southern Philippines, Catholic folk music in the Lowland Philippines, the traditional music of Japan, and Hawaiian music and dance. His theoretical foci encompass music and ethnic identity, the arts and public policy, and issues of gender in the arts of the Pacific and Asia. He performs and has taught koto, rondalla, and kulintangan.


Yiman Wang
Associate Professor of Film and Digital Media, UC Santa Cruz

Yiman Wang is Associate Professor of Film & Digital Media at University of California Santa Cruz.  She is author of Remaking Chinese Cinema: Through the Prism of Shanghai, Hong Kong and Hollywood (Honolulu, HI: University of Hawaii Press, 2013).  She is currently working on two book projects, one on Anna May Wong as a transnational “minor” performer-worker, the other on animals and cinema.  Her articles have appeared in numerous journals and edited volumes. 


Amanda Weidman
Associate Professor, Bryn Mawr College

Amanda Weidman is a cultural anthropologist with interests in music, performance, technological mediation and gender. She has conducted research in Tamil-speaking South India since the mid 1990s. She is currently working on a project on playback singing in relation to the cultural politics of gender in South India from post-Independence to the post-liberalization period.  Her publications include Singing The Classical, Voicing the Modern: The Postcolonial Politics of Music in South India (Duke University Press, 2006), several articles on performance, embodiment, and technological mediation in relation to South Indian classical music, film songs, and historic South Indian sound recordings, and a review article on voice for the Annual Review of Anthropology.  She is also a Karnatic violinist.


Andrew N. Weintraub
Professor of Music, University of Pittsburgh

Andrew N. Weintraub is Professor and Chair of Music at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in ethnomusicology and popular music and directs the University Gamelan program. He is the author of Power Plays (2004) and Dangdut Stories (2010), co-editor of Islam and Popular Culture in Indonesia and Malaysia (2011), and co-editor of Music and Cultural Rights (2008). Weintraub is the founder and lead singer of the Dangdut Cowboys, a Pittsburgh-based band that performs Indonesian popular music.


Christine Yano
Professor of Anthropology, University of Hawaii

Christine R. Yano, Professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii, has conducted research on Japan and Japanese Americans.  Her publications include Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song (Harvard, 2002), Crowning the Nice Girl; Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture in Hawaii’s Cherry Blossom Festival (Hawaii, 2006), Airborne Dreams: “Nisei” Stewardesses and Pan American World Airways (Duke, 2011), and Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty and its Trek Across the Pacific (Duke, 2013).